Fishing ban begins

April 15, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:42 am IST - Thoothukudi:

Fishing by mechanised boats has come to a halt on Thursday as the 45-day annual fishing ban has been enforced along the East Coast of Tamil Nadu.

Around 250 mechanised boats remained anchored at Thoothukudi fishing harbour. The ban is to facilitate breeding of marine fishes.

Fisheries Department and its coordinating agencies would be involved in enforcing the ban and monitoring compliance. The ban would remain in effect till May 29.

Fishermen have been instructed not to venture into the sea so as to avoid disturbances caused by trawlers to marine organisms during the breeding season.

During the ban period, work on mending nets and overhauling over 250 boats anchored at the fishing harbour would be taken up.

S. Xavier Vas, president, Thoothukudi Mechanised Boat Owners’ Association, said that maintenance work on engines and painting of vessels would be carried out during the ban period.

Boat owners on an average incur an expenditure of Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh during this lean period.

Hike in relief

S. Maharajan, president, Tharuvaikulam panchayat, said that the fishermen had been demanding a hike in the ban period relief of Rs. 2,000 which would not be sufficient for them during the lean period.

The ban period relief should be hiked to Rs. 5,000. Moreover, the relief assistance should be provided within the period and there should not be any delay in providing it as the fishermen had no alternative source of livelihood.

He also sought the intervention of enforcement agencies to prevent trespassing of fishing vessels into Thoothukudi coast. However, country boats would continue fishing operations during this period.

Since country boat fishing was considered a traditional method, the ban was not binding on country boat fishermen, sources said.

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